Welcome to our world. Here you'll find out about our family life, our alpaca ranch, our explorations in healthy cooking, and anything else that strikes our interest.
Our son was born in a city, and used to city life, just like us. We're not big city folk, mind you, but all of us had adjustments to make as we transitioned to a rural life on our little ranch.
I'm very proud of the young man he is turning in to. For instance, the picture above is one he took when I asked him for some alpaca pictures for the website. He has ranch chores every day, helping us to take care of the alpacas, chickens, cat, and ducks.
He was responsible and physically fit before, I just feel that since we started our ranch his responsibility and physical fitness have grown by leaps and bounds. Ranch life is not an easy life, even on a small ranch. But it is very rewarding.
Ranch life is also very good for intellectual development. He finds it fun to read a book after his chores. And we're always working together on better ways to run things. If he chooses to manage a business or a group in a corporation when he grows up, he will have already learned a lot of management skills from ranch life.
Obviously there are many good paths in life, and it's not limited to living on a ranch. But for where we are in life, it's an excellent way of living.
Ducks grow really fast. These cuties came to live on our ranch only two months ago and already they appear full sized. They definitely love to quack when they're waiting for their food.
They have beautiful coloring as well. Hopefully at least one of them is a girl because we'd love to try duck eggs.
Soon we'll let our ducks associate with our chickens. The chickens are very serious about their pecking order, and we figure that it's best if the two types of bird get acquainted through a fence first where there is less chance of them hurting each other. Granted, full size ducks can handle the chickens in a fight, but we want them to be friends, not enemies. We don't want any casualties on any side.
Soon enough they'll be roaming around the entire ranch and playing in the occasional puddle.
In the picture below we see Protege. He is what is called a Huacaya Alpaca. They have the fluffy teddy bear look, unlike most of our other alpacas. He is sure that he is in competition with Erik, our Suri Alpaca herd sire. We keep telling him that we won't let him near our Suri girls, but for some reason he doesn't believe us and thinks that the entire herd is his to command. He is definitely an A type personality. But he is also sweet and lovable. He is very willing to try new things. He was the first to try barley sprouts when we started feeding them to our alpacas. He will come up to new people earlier than our other alpacas will. He is a wonderful, fluffy alpaca to have around.
We've had a lot of inclement weather recently, and it got me thinking about two different strategies, just in time procurement or stocking up. Just in time procurement is basically keeping very little to none of something on hand, versus stocking up so you're good for a while. Modern manufacturing mostly uses just in time procurement, where they don't warehouse parts or materials, they just get them on or around the day they need them. That works for them and more power to them.
But back to our bad weather. If we were to go get the hay and fowl feed we need every day, it wouldn't turn out very well on a rainy, wet day like this. In the winter, roads can become impassible and if we didn't have a supply on hand our animals might go hungry. We got a hay delivery on Saturday before we ran out, so this week with the wet weather we don't have to worry about it.
The bees are very good at stocking up too. My new bee colony is an exception since they're just getting started, but bees generally have a lot of food stocked up to keep them supplied when they can't go outside the hive for various reasons.
We keep a good supply of barley seeds on hand so that we can keep our hydroponic fodder system going for the alpacas. For one thing, we have to start new trays every day to have fresh sprouts for the alpacas 8 days later. If we ran out of barley seeds we'd have to run to the feed store and get more, potentially meaning that we wouldn't get sprouts 8 days later.
Of course, this also presents problems. We have to store our barley so that it doesn't feed the mice. Mice are a constant problem in rural areas, and none of them are like Jerry of Tom and Jerry fame. So we store our barley in a plastic container. Outside, our cat is pretty good at chasing mice, and the chickens will eat mice as well. The chickens are also great at rooting out bugs from the hay and eating them. For chickens the hay storage is like a dessert table filled with the yummiest confections.
So, for us, we love stocking up. Different strokes for different folks.
As you can see in our last post, we had a big May storm that dropped a lot of snow. It melted really fast today. This resulted in the little lakes you see.
We're a family of three. We raise alpacas and chickens. We explore different ways of living healthier and happier. We love to share what we learn and to learn what you care to share.